The seemingly imminent return to South Africa of Springbok fly-half Johan Goosen has raised questions about where exactly he will settle and which jersey he will don.
Goosen, 28, currently plies his trade with Montpellier in the French Top 14 but looks to be ready to move on. In an interview with Netwerk24, he indicated that the prospect of joining up with the Cheetahs (which is the only South African side he has represented in the past) was an attractive one as it would give him the opportunity to rub shoulders with players such as Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar while also allowing him to be close to his farm in the nearby district of Aliwal North.
However, there is also the hard-to-ignore option of joining the ranks of Jake White’s Bulls in Pretoria. Adding greatly to the appeal of this course of action is that the Bulls are set to join the Stormers, Sharks and Lions in the revamped Pro16 tournament in Europe which booted the Cheetahs out of it while simultaneously welcoming the aforementioned SA teams in. The lack of clarity regarding the Cheetahs’ future (as well as the influence of Jake White) may well be the deciding factor for Goosen.
Goosen won 13 caps for the Springboks between 2012 and 2016 and was touted as South Africa’s next great fly-half. Unfortunately, his career has been regularly hampered by injury. In 2018, Goosen, then with Racing 92, retired from rugby to manage a stud farm back in South Africa, only to do a U-turn shortly thereafter and put pen to paper for Montpellier – a move which sparked a legal battle between the two French clubs.